Digital Video: The Unsung Hero of CES

January 23, 2017

Like so many marketers, we were at CES too. It was focused on the shiny new objects of IoT, AI and Alexa. Relatedly, there was much ado about the plethora of consumer data that will come from new technologies. Marketers are exited to use these new tools in the never-ending quest to establish closer relationships with consumers. After all, you can’t get more intimate than a refrigerator who suggests a recipe because it knows what food is in your house.

While we enjoy the splash about the hot toys and the new consumer data they will bring, we were most excited about the undercurrent of all of this hype: digital video. That’s because it is video that will drive home the consumer connection. A camera in the fridge is the tool giving you the dinner recipe – and the screen on the front shows you the video on how to whip it up. Then you make a video with your kid as you cook the recipe together, share it on your YouTube channel, and so goes the marketing interconnectivity.


The proliferation of new IoT devices that consumers will use to watch digital video means targeting is even more important. Marketers must determine which campaigns and messages to get to which people when, and in a way that they want to view. It’s a basic concept, but one that cannot be taken for granted as it will get increasingly complex to accomplish. Here are some ideas on how you can prep for digital video in the age of the IoT:

  1. Take the time now to layout solid targeting groundwork. Devices, technologies, and their underlying data are fluid. But philosophies are solid. Good targeting habits now will be an important foundation for your future IoT targeting tasks.
  2. Don’t take anything for granted. Sales and marketing ROI is earned, not given. Make sure that – wherever your digital video appears– you leverage the device’s uniqueness to better target your viewing audiences and achieve maximum ROI.
  3. Common sense will go a long way…at first. The availability of exciting new IoT metrics might be a step behind your ability to actually use them to boost your campaign. Use your common sense but get those metrics working for you quickly, and lean on the providers who help you get there.
  4. Play with the new toys. This is an exciting time! Get on board with these shiny new objects now so you can figure out what type of ads or messaging or content is native. What is it that will or won’t make advertising relevant to or useful for the user or users? Do you need new types of story-telling and different timing to connect with your audience? Or will IoT simply be the source of additional data that improves our targeting or our results in other channels? Enjoy experimenting and get ahead of the curve!

McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) predicts that IoT applications will have a potential economic impact of $3.9 trillion- $11.1 trillion by year 20251. IHS forecasts that the IoT market will grow from an installed base of 15.4 billion devices in 2015 to 30.7 billion devices in 2020 and 75.4 billion in 20252.

1 McKinsey Global Institute